Friday, March 6, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "jerome simpson"

jerome simpson

That’s right ya’ll, a Wizard Of Oz reference in the title.  Oh, snap!  Hey Judy Garland was from Minnesota, so it fits, stop scoffing!

Anyways, as I am sure you all have seen by now (sorry, computer bugs struck this week) Jerome Simpson has made it clear that he was not happy about Leslie Frazier’s decision to keep him out of last Sunday’s game against the Redskins.

I expected to read quotes about Simpson wishing he could have helped lift his team to victory, how he could have helped stretch the field and open up the run game.

“You lose $60,000 you’d be mad, too,” is instead the Simpson quote making the rounds, referencing the fact that he lost his weekly roster bonus by not being active.

While Simpson said more than just that and said he and Frazier are now on the same page, Simpson’s quote bothered me more from a philosophical standpoint.  Simpson didn’t lose anything at all, in reality, and his words hint that maybe he hasn’t learned the lessons he claimed he has.

Simpson didn’t earn his weekly roster bonus because the head coach, who can deactivate him any week for any reason, chose to sit him.  That weekly roster bonus is a result of the way his contract was written.  The contract was written that way because Simpson was sitting on the free agent shelf long after the free agency period opened, largely due to concerns about how long his suspension would be.  His suspension was the result of Simpson’s trouble with the law after a large amount of drugs was delivered to his home.

Action.  Reaction.

Action.  Consequence.

Simpson’s quote is a far cry from the “I’m just grateful to have another opportunity” type of quotes we were getting after he signed with the Vikings, and that is really disappointing to me.

So, now that I have done the second-best thing I do – harp on players like a mother hen – let me do what I actually do best… provide irresponsibly wild speculation.

For a rebuilding year, the 4-2 Vikings are surprisingly close to first place in the NFC North and, by all appearances, are capable of beating any team on any given Sunday if the stars align properly.

One of those stars that could possibly be in line?  How does Dwayne Bowe sound?

The Chiefs star receiver reportedly wants out of Kansas City and there are even some rumors already that he could be part of a pre-deadline deal to Miami, a logical landing spot.  If, however, the Vikings win their next two games (which I fully expect them to) and they are ever-so-close to a playoff spot then they may also become a logical spot for the 28 year old receiver.

Bowe is a big, physical receiver that is capable of stretching the field… just not in the traditional speed-based sort of way.  He is durable, as he has played in all but five games over five and a half seasons, and always seems to contribute at a high level no matter how poorly his team, and quarterbacks, are playing.

Bowe has had maturity issues of his own in the not-so-distant past, but I just can’t imagine him being anything but the perfect complement to Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph.  It just seems logical.

What might not seem so logical, once known, is Kansas City’s asking price and Bowe’s contract desires.  That could be a major hiccup in any deal, with any team they try and deal with, but for now I just can’t help but think I am not way off base here… and in a week or two we might be hearing from major media outlets about Minnesota as a potential landing spot for Bowe.

After all, the last time we swung a blockbuster deal with the Chiefs for a troubled talent in his prime, it worked out pretty well.

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19

Monday’s are never quite as fun after a loss like the one the Vikings suffered yesterday. Your boss being a Packer fan and informing you that the football universe is now back in alignment after their hearty win over the Texans (and the Vikings loss) makes it all the more worse.

But it’s okay – today is a new day separate from the angst and irrationality of last night. I’m not quite ready to start sipping the purple kool-aid again but Adam has some notes from yesterday’s game that I promise are more level-headed than mine.

For whatever reason, he wasn’t able to post them himself. So, on his behalf, here are some of our favorite Vikings blogger’s opinions on last night’s travesty.

Mobile Quarterbacks

I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe Erin Henderson should have replaced Jasper Brinkley on nickel downs. Maybe Jared Allen needed to ease up on his pass rush and focus more on containment. Maybe Everson Griffen needed to take more snaps. Whatever the issue, this Vikings defense struggles with mobile quarterbacks, and that could prove to be an issue down the stretch. Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler are both on the schedule, twice each, between now and the end of the season.

I Hate Those Penalties

I have said it a few times that the week two performance against Indianapolis was one of the worst games the Vikings have played in recent memory. A huge part of that reasoning is the disdain I have for penalties and this most recent game against Washington had that same feel. Too many penalties, too undisciplined.

A Whole New Appreciation For Harvin

The Vikings performed better against Washington than they did against Indy earlier this season, and had some better individual performances, but once again Percy Harvin is the biggest silver lining following the “L.” I want to make a fresh point about Harvin, however. After watching Matt Stafford flip the football, Victor Cruz salsa dance, Jared Allen rope a cow when his team is losing, and RGIII act like he is auditioning for Glee, I love how professional and sensible Harvin is during his moments of dominance. After a big play, it seems to take him about a nanosecond before he is focused on making the next big play. Chris Kluwe called Harvin the hardest working player in football following Sunday’s loss, and I believe him, because he is all business for 60 straight minutes.

“Lack Of A Deep Threat” Is A Myth

I keep hearing that Jerome Simpson is the Vikings only deep threat. If that is truly the case, then the Vikings front office and coaching staff have pinned themselves into a corner that is inexcusable. If your only way to stretch the field is a street free agent beginning the year on suspension, then you have screwed up.

I don’t think that is the case, however, so it frustrates me to see Bill Musgrave act like the Sunday morning pre-game shows know what they are talking about in the way he calls plays. The Vikings begin the game by finding great success in the run game, Washington adjusts to stop the run, and then the Vikings fail to adjust their own plan and take advantage of them stacking the box. That is not a good blueprint to have on tape.

Luckily, however, the Vikings do have deep threats besides Simpson and soon they will have to realize it. I have seen Percy Harvin be successful downfield with Brett Favre throwing him the ball. I know John Carlson and Kyle Rudolph can be dangerous running streaks down the seam. Heck, even Devin Aromashodu has made plays deep every year since joining the Vikings. If Michael Jenkins can’t get there, then how about giving Stephen Burton a chance to show us what he can do? The options are there but Musgrave has to acknowledge them and Ponder has to take advantage of them.

No matter what, though, put receiver at the top of your offseason priority list for the Vikings in 2013.

Loadholt Extension

I have always thought that mid-season contract extension should be used as a way to reward excellent play and motivate others on the roster. Last week, news broke that the Vikings had begun negotiating with starting right tackle Phil Loadholt whose contract expires after this season. I didn’t get a chance to give my opinion on the matter, so I’ll take the opportunity now.

Does Phil Loadholt deserve a reward for his play this season? Is he easily enough replaced or upgraded via the Draft or free agency? Will cheaper options be available?

I like Loadholt okay. He is serviceable. I just don’t see him, as he gets older, somehow becoming more athletic and quicker on his feet, however. I’m just not convinced he is worth a larger, long-term investment at this point. If I had a vote (which I won’t and never will) I would say to leave it be until January and then see where things stand.

Injury Free And Rebound Opportunity

The Vikings fell to second place in the NFC North with their loss on Sunday, but they came out of it largely unscathed and have a chance to get their confidence back against a pair of lesser teams. Leslie Frazier indicated that the team suffered no major injuries on Sunday, so that is great news moving forward. The Vikings had back to the Metrodome to host the atrocious-looking Cardinals and then get to play the lackluster Bucs. It is possible, if not somewhat likely, that this Vikings team will soon be 6-2.

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1

Gosh, is it just me or was this an incredibly boring set of early games?  At the time I am writing this, the Eagles are beating the Lions, so there’s that.

VIKINGS:  QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, WR Jairus Wright, CB Brandon Burton, S Mistral Raymond, LB Marvin Mitchell, OL Mark Asper, WR Jerome Simpson

REDSKINS:  WR Pierre Garçon, S Brandon Meriweather, QB Rex Grossman, G Josh LeRibeus, CB Cedric Griffin, G Adam Gettis, DE Doug Worthington

 

Jerome Simpson and Pierre Garcon both being inactive is huge for both defenses.  The downfield game could really suffer, and both teams will be focused on each other’s running backs and tight ends. Expect a lot of today’s action to take place between the hash marks.

NOTE:  Unfortunately, there will be no live chat today, enjoy the game everybody!  SKOL!

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7

Yesterday was glorious, was it not? I mean seriously, how could you ask for a more perfect day from the football gods? Is it wrong that I almost enjoy watching Green Bay lose at the last second to last year’s worst team as much as watching our Vikings steam roll over the Tennessee Titans? Part of me thinks that it is just unhealthy to hold so much disdain for a division rival. The other part of me welcomes it with open arms and cherishes it.

Seriously, though – who would have thought that after week 5 the Vikings would only have one loss (a loss at the last second to the same team that just beat Green Bay) and the Packers would only have two wins? I LOVE FOOTBALL!

(I hate fantasy football… But now is not the time for that rant.)

So, now that the dust has settled after the Vikings blew up the Titans, let’s look at some of the stories that came out today.

Harrison Smith Will Be Fined. Will Not Be Suspended.

(Edit: Apparently now Smith will not even be fined. Great news.)

From Adam Schefter himself:

A-friggin-men. Because, make no mistake about it, a lot of the success this defense is having so far through the year can be attributed to the rookie safety. And I’m not so sure if it’s just his own play but more so the attitude he brings to this team. When I watch this defense it just seems obvious to me that Harrison Smith’s intensity has rubbed off on his peers. People are flying to the ball, making plays, hitting hard, making tackles and, for the most part, not making mistakes. Not to mention Smith has had some game-changing plays himself…

I didn’t think it was likely Harrison Smith would miss another game because of the incident with the ref yesterday, but I was worried about it. I think Smith could be crucial in helping to contain a guy like Robert Griffin III next week (assuming RGIII plays – I’m sure we’ll talk about that more during the week).

Harrison Smith Ejected For Shoving Ref

As far as the infraction itself that has landed Harrison Smith in so much hot water… I think it was overblown. Smith did not grab the ref and ‘shove’ him out of the way. The way I saw it (through my purple glasses, of course), the ref was driving Harrison back (for an excessive amount of time I might add) and Smith just kind of moved his arm and attempted to side step the ref. It’s not like he was aggressive in the slightest sense towards the judge. Not to mention, did anyone notice the way the ref’s arm was firmly lodged on Smith’s  throat? Just saying… Either way – it is what it is. And I think it should be noted that Smith has shown great maturity by immediately taking responsibility and apologizing for it and accepting the consequences he will now face (a fine).

Harrison Smith’s intensity is great for this team and his personal play… But he does need to get his emotions under control so we don’t keep running into these personal fouls.

Jerome Simpson’s Mystery Injury

Our friends over at The Viking Age did a great job of pointing out some of the theories regarding Jerome Simpson’s mystery injury that kept him out of most of yesterday’s game. It seems that everyone is saying something different about Simpson’s numb leg…

Simpson himself told the media that he begin feeling the numbness in his leg the night before and that it “…just felt like my foot was kind of asleep, I guess.” The Vikings staff, however, is telling the media that Simpson did something to his leg during pre-game warm-ups.

The Viking Age have a different, unique take.

During pre-game intros, Simpson was seen doing some high-flying acrobatics. (Check out that link for a mid-air picture.) Or, in other words, it looks like he was jumping around and getting some pretty significant air (as he’s known to do). Could this be the cause of the injury? Wouldn’t be the first time someone hurt their leg during some sort of excessive celebratory maneuver, Gramatica.

And if Simpson did injure his leg during pre-game warm-ups as Leslie Frazier and Rick Spielman are saying, why is he jumping around like that during introductions anyway?

Let’s hope Simpson’s leg gets its feeling back before next Sunday and he’s able to contribute against the Redskins.

In the meantime, here’s a fun little article highlighting the “Top 10 dumbest sports injuries” which, ironically enough, happens to include Gus Frerotte injuring his neck after head-butting a wall. How many times have we all wanted to do that during a Vikings game, huh?

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